Thursday, January 15, 2009

New marketing: Facebook, fast food and faster times

You know all about BK's mega-success for the Whopper on facebook, right? The Johnny Depps of adland, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, demonstrate in a textbook case how one can develop a social media application for a client ('one' means Dublin ad agencies too, btw) that cuts straight through the bullshit, gets tons of recall, brand association and all that other guff, and sells a few burgers too.

Not a banner ad, not a viral, but an application that makes for genuine, thought-provoking cut-through. Don't know nuthin' about making up applications? Me neither, but I know people who do. Crispin Porter in this instance worked with Refresh Partners from Toronto. But you don't have to go that far. You could try any major Irish town first.

This is the new creativity, and we need to think this way. Factually (and not unimportantly), it also represents an economic reality for lower spending clients.

Facebook users were asked to delete ten 'friends' from their list in return for a free Whopper. Enough of them did, in the US market alone, to make it extremely worthwhile. Yum yum for Burger King. Facebook has had to redefine the application somewhat, (or shut it down, pretty much) so successful has it been, citing privacy issues (and presumably slightly concerned by the fact that 250,000 'friends' have been axed by other good 'friends'). The Arches must be looking slightly yellow over just how much cyberprint this one has amassed.

Poke away, if you want to lose an eye, but there's more to it, as I've said before. Facebook is encouraging corporates more and more in the direction of maximising their presence, in lots of ways. Posts like How Major Retailers Can Improve the Effectiveness of Their Facebook Pages say it clearly, and To Fuck with the Lower Case recession.

But life in these straitened times is not without its encouragement, dear readers. I know of at least one revered Dublin agency this week that is benefitting from an in-house training course on the many uses of facebook. I hope they use their newfound knowledge to benefit their clients and the Dublin ad scene by extension. I'm just saying.

And connectedly, the LA Times is just saying that what they now make from online ad revenue is enough to pay for the costs of online, ALL the editorial and what's that other thing? Oh yes, the printing of the old version.

Train a' runnin, down that digi track, train a' runnin, she ain't turnin' back etc. At which point I am thrown from the boxcar. Laters.

A Guardian repost via Cybercom.

Congratulations btw to Language and KDNINE, who are stepping up with their recent joint win of the Halifax account. As reported by Siobhán O'Connell in the IT.


  1. Just wondering, is it the inability to escape exposure that has decreed the current norms of ad media? 48-sheets, radio, TV, Cinema, urinal posters, supermarket floors etc All these mediums share a common trait; they are thrust upon you whether you like it or not.

    Effective 'voluntary' forms of advertising don't seem to exist, unless you have cut your teeth on goodwill and hearsay alone. Bored as I am of these current norms, I'd love you to explain how these new digital platforms can reach the same audiences as the old models? I will only see an ad on your website if I 'choose' to go there. I will see a 48-sheet walking down the street.

    This is not a loaded challenge, it's a genuine question.

  2. You might as well compare eight-track and mp3. New social media are not going to achieve the same beat-them-over-the-head penetration as a 48 or a tv spot, but where they can shine is in the two-way nature of the conversation. See the post here as an example of how loyalty can ripple out in an entirely new way for brands. Or think of how dumping facebook friends can put Burger King more squarely in your mind. Or how having an application to airbrush spots off your facebook profile pic can subtly endear you to Clearasil. These are different ways to attract consumers, some more engaging and some less, but if we follow current trends to their logical conclusion, we can expect a whole lot more soon. TV viewership is declining. Youtube's upload and comment culture is steaming ahead.

    But I do agree that this will take a while. I don't foresee the death of TV in the near future. Print media is taking a severe beating though. 18 million people read the Sun Online last December. EIGHTEEN Million! The Sun! For fuck's sake! They're reaching, Jamzie.

  3. Is it not the 'lack' of advertising and marketing that makes these new media so appealing?

    And how long will it take for our industry to make them unappealing? However, after explaining those gimmicks to me yesterday, I do agree it holds great potential. Let's see where it goes I suppose.